Next Saturday, July 25th, 1:30 PM, at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, the film Rachel will screen in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival--the largest Jewish film festival in the country. The film was created by a well-known French-Israeli documentary filmmaker, Simone Bitton. Some of you may have seen other of her numerous films--most recently Wall. I have attached a link to the page about Rachel at the festival's website: so I won't go into detail about its content here; but it is a film that focuses foremost on the circumstances of Rachel's killing and on issues surrounding investigation of the case. It, also, I feel, provides penetrating views of others who were present at the time of Rachel's killing or were directly impacted, and powerful insight into what compels resistance. Even from individuals interviewed whom we already knew quite well, Craig and I learned new things.
The filmmaker is not able to be at the festival, and upon invitation I agreed to attend and to engage in a thirty-minute post-screening Q&A session. The film has now screened at festivals around the world. Craig and I attended Tribeca Film Festival screenings in New York where we participated in post-screening Q&A sessions with Simone Bitton.
During the past weeks, it has come to my attention that the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has come under serious and prolonged attack from Consul General Akiva Tor of the Israeli Consulate and some segments of the Bay Area Jewish community and is under extreme pressure to cancel the film and/or my appearance. The festival is standing firm in its commitment to bring the film and me while also constructing responses to their critics.
I am writing to encourage you to attend the screening in San Francisco, if possible, and, also, to extend whatever support you can to the festival for taking a firm stand against censorship. It will be helpful to me to see some friendly faces in the crowd. Please pass the information along to others. Filmmaker Simone Bitton is encouraging her San Francisco friends to attend and to avoid being provocative. I, of course, also encourage decorum and thoughtful, constructive interaction.
Thanks in advance for any support.
Here is a link to the festival page about the film and ticket information: http://fest.sfjff.org/film/detail?id=4732
The Bay Area Women in Black will be holding their weekly vigil in front of the Castro theater for this week only, and after concluding at 1pm will be viewing the film at 1:30. If you wish to join them, vigils are silent (though signs are customary) and as per their name participants dress in black. You may purchase tickets for the festival online from the JFF or order by phone at 415.256.TIXX. (8499)